From a program recorded on July 16, 1980, Charles Amirkhanian introduces the work of the French actor and singer, Caroline Gautier. She talks about her investigation of early examples of spoken ballads or musical declamations. To highlight her comments Amirkhanian presents three seldom performed works, composed by Robert Schumann, and performed by Gautier and pianist Michaël Lévinas. Gautier provides the story behind each piece as well as describing how her acting talent is incorporated into... Topics: Morning Concert Series, Music, Interview, Classical Music
From a recording made in May of 1991, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Paul Dresher about his theatrical production, “Pioneer”, which "celebrates and exposes American explorers and the myths of the pioneering spirit." Several songs from the production are also heard. The two also discuss the difficulties in portraying offensive attitudes such as racial bigotry and the history of American colonialism. In the second half of the program is Charles and Paul are joined by Gerald Oshita... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Music Theatre
Charles Amirkhanian discusses the politics of new music in the Bay Area, with reference to the unsympathetic criticism, leveled at avant-garde artists such as John Cage and Merce Cunningham, by music critics at the New York Time and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Amirkhanian argues that while Bay Area audiences clearly support the radical styles of the avant-garde, the local papers of note only employ music critics that favor the contemporary classical music of more academically... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Lecture, Panel Discussion, New Music
From September 4, 1992, Charles Amirkhanian introduces a retrospective on the life of composer John Cage, whose work has had a great influence on artistic thought in the 20th Century, and who had just passed away a few weeks before what would have been his 80th birthday on September 5th 1992. Richard Friedman, and composer, author, and critic Charles Shere join in the commentary, and archival recordings of Cage’s voice complete the festivities. Also heard during this program are live... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Documentary, New Music, John Cage
In an interview, recorded on June 22, 1979, Charles Amirkhanian talks with the Mexican composer Arturo Salinas. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Salinas studied composition with Robert Cogan at the New England Conservatory, ethnomusicology with Charles Boilès in Montreal, electro-acoustic music and microtonality with Jean-Etienne Marie in Paris, and orchestral conducting with Igor Markevitch. Included in this program is a complete performance of his “Memoire Imarcescible”, an electro-acoustic... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Music, Microtonal Music
When the ROVA Saxophone Quartet toured the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, it was the enterprising and irrepressible Alexander Kan who invited the group and organized the visit against improbable odds. In 1988 KPFA turned the tables and invited Mr. Kan to its studio for a discussion. He was the leading Soviet producer of new music, avant-garde jazz, and experimental rock. The founder of the Leningrad Contemporary Music Club, which throughout the late 1970s until it was banned in the 1980s,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, Orchestral Music, Jazz
In honor of her 70th birthday, Betty Freeman appears on KPFA's Morning Concert, hosted by Charles Amirkhanian. Freeman shares anecdotes from her long career, first as a budding pianist and then as a supporter of contemporary composers such as Harry Partch, John Cage, and La Monte Young. Freeman also describes her work as a photographer of composers, and gives her opinions about listening to and loving new music. Musical excerpts include "Goldberg Variations" by J. S. Bach, and... Topics: interviews, KPFA Morning Concert series, Betty Freeman, New Music
Music of J.S. Bach and his sons, C.P.E, Bach and the “English” John Christian Bach, and their influence on Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, all in performances which attempt to approximate the sounds that audiences of the period might have experienced. Some listeners will prefer these performances, others will not; yet they all will offer insights into how the majesty of Bach led to the magic of Mozart. (from KPFA Folio). Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Music, Classical Music
From a recording made in July of 1988, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Lawrence Weschler, essayist for the New Yorker Magazine and grandson of composer Ernst Toch. They discusses his book “Shapinsky's Karma, Boggs's Bill, and Other True-Life Tales ”, which profiles six people who unexpectedly changed the direction of their lives. These include the story of James Boggs who blurred the lines between art and commerce by painting exquisite copies of $100 bills and then insisted on spending them,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview, Modern Art, Lawrence Weschler
In this program, recorded in May of 1979, New York composer Philip Corner is the guest of Charles Amirkhanian. He discusses his music in preparation for his appearance at the Exploratorium in San Francisco as part of the Speaking of Music series of lecture/performances. As a member of the faculty of Livingston College (Rutgers University), Corner continued his provocative, improvisation-oriented, music making based on highly original, open-ended, beautifully handwritten, performance notations... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, Percussion music, Improvisation
Host Sarah Cahill presents a diverse number of musical settings of poems by the renowned American poet Emily Dickinson. Juxtaposed settings by Aaron Copland, John Adams, George Perle and Ernst Bacon reveal each composer’s unique approach to handling Dickinson’s enigmatic work. While Adams’s well-known “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” is featured in its entirety, seldom-heard work by Perle and Bacon offers a different take not only on the text, but on the author’s status as... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Art Songs
Jon Gibson performs three movements from his five movement, 1979, composition, “Criss x Cross,” after which he discusses the piece with program host, Charles Amirkhanian. This somewhat aleatoric work apparently follows a score in which the notes are indicated without any rhythmic instructions, and much of the phrasing and duration of the notes is improvised. The work is influenced by Gibson’s interest in bagpipe music and the pibrochs of the Scottish Highlands, although one can also see... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, New Music, Saxophone music
Fountain pens were the early 20th Century equivalent of the laptop computer. Allowing individuals the ability to write without being tied to a desk and inkwell, this unique American invention came to symbolize literacy for the man or woman who owned and carried one. Recently, as computer technology has threatened to wipe out the individual personality of the handwritten word, hoards of collectors have rediscovered the joy of writing with new and vintage instruments which can vary the width of... ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Other Finds, Fountain Pens
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, Professor of Assyriology at the University of California at Berkeley, about an LP ”Sounds from silence; Recent discoveries in ancient Near Eastern music” which documents a previously unknown musical composition dating from around 1400 BC. This ancient fertility hymn from Ugarit caused an international sensation when modern research made available for the first time, the knowledge necessary for the translation of ancient clay tablets... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Ancient Music
Charles Amirkhanian interviews the Mandingo Griot musician from Gambia, Foday Musa Suso. A virtuoso on the 21-stringed kora, he also is a drummer and composer whose multi-instrumental talents are highlighted on numerous recordings, including The Dreamtime, a CD from CMP (3001), issued in Germany. After teaching at the University of Ghana and performing radio and television programs throughout Europe, Suso moved to the United States in 1977. Since then he has founded the Mandingo Griot Society,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, World Music, Jazz, Foday Musa Suso
Composer-performer David Jaffe has bridged the gap between acoustic folk music and the world of cerebral computer music with a multi-stylistic approach. A lecturer at Stanford University, where much of his work is produced at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Jaffe also worked with neXt Computers on creating new types of music software. His composition Impossible Animals contains human voice timbres in the shape of carefully analyzed bird songs. He is interviewed... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, David Jaffe
Take a journey through the vineyards of France to the honky-tonks of America. Charles Amirkhanian talks with Kermit Lynch, Berkeley California based, wine importer extraordinaire, on the subject of French wines and the adventures in finding them. Mr. Lynch has documented his experiences in the book, “Adventures on the Wine Route: A Winebuyer’s Tour of France”. This book, which reads like a prose fantasy in parts, is a most engaging compilation of stories on the subject, and it has... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Kermit Lynch
Recorded in 1978, Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Janice Giteck about her recent European tour with the Port Costa Players in which they performed two of her works of ritual and musical theater, “Thunder like a White Bear Dancing” and “Callin’ Home Coyote”. Giteck discusses the influence that contributed to her work and the way in which they were received in different parts of Europe. Giteck also mentions her work with Berkeley’s Cazadero Music Camp, which during the Summer... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Music, New Music, Janice Giteck
This three hour special "Marathon Mornings" program features Charles Amirkhanian interviewing John Adams on the occasion of his fortieth birthday. Along with an in-depth interview about his compositions, collaborators, and working as composer in residence with the San Francisco Symphony under Edo de Waart, Charles and Mr. Adams do some wonderful KPFA subscription plugs. The program features several shorter works, and full presentations of Mr. Adams' recordings with the SF Symphony of... Topics: Interview and Music, KPFA, Morning Concert series, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music, John...
The brilliant young violinist and composer from Japan is interviewed about her career and her recent composition “U (The Cormorant)” for violin and tape. She also describes some of the challenges of performing music that blends electronics with a traditional instrument. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic Music, Mari Kimura
Percussionist William Winant was born in Los Angeles to a family of accomplished actors and musicians. He studied at Los Angeles City College and Cal Arts before doing advanced studies at York University in Toronto in 1979. He returned to the West Coast to study with composer Lou Harrison at Mills College in Oakland and has performed with the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio. Charles Amirkhanian interviews with this talkative and gifted Bay Area instrumentalist. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music, William...
This program, recorded on March 10, 1988, begins with Charles Amirkhanian’s brief interview with composer Harvey Sollberger in which they discuss two of Sollberger’s works, “Persian Golf” and “Three or Four Things I Know About the Oboe.” The two are then joined by composer John Adams for a discussion about the state of New Music in the San Francisco Bay Area. The bulk of the program is then dedicated to John Adams’ blockbuster opera “Nixon in China.” This masterwork of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interviews, Opera, 20th Century Classical
After listening to “In Woods for oboe, harp, and percussion” by American composer and pianist Leo Smit, Charles Amirkhanian then interviews the composer about his career and his relationship with other composers of the first half of the 20th century. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Leo Smit
Carolie Shoemaker, composer, vocalist, and performance artist, hails from Seattle, where she has made a significant reputation as an innovative personality on the new music scene. Charles Amirkhanian interviews the visiting musician, who introduces selections from her work, including Yo(u) Tarzan, Stitch in Time, and other pieces. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Jazz, Carolie Shumaker
Ron Erickson interviews musicologist Hans Moldenhauer, who with his wife Rosaleen, has published a book on Anton Webern. Moldenhauer has also collected a significant archive of documents, manuscripts, and musical scores that encompass the history of music from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century, including a vast amount of materials pertaining to Webern and Schoenberg. The program concludes with a performance of the Spring and Summer concertos from Darius Milhaud’s “Four Seasons”... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Hans Moldenhauer
Guitarist and composer Paul Dresher talks with Charles Amirkhanian and presents recordings of his music ranging from 1979 to 1986. Included will be a recent orchestral piece, excerpts from his chamber opera, “Slow Fire”, and the solo guitar work which first brought notice to the young Bay Area composer, “Liquid and Stellar Music”. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Music Theatre,...
Specialists in New Music have long been associated with KPFA’s Music Department, be it John Rockwell, Alan Rich, Robert Erickson, Glen Glasow, or Charles Amirkhanian. But for intensity of production and richness of quality no term at KPFA was more productive than that of former Music Director Charles Shere who’s tenure at the station lasted from 1965 to 1967. Now the Music & Art critic for the Oakland Tribune, and a distinguished composer as well, Mr. Shere returns to the scene of his... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, New Music, Charles Shere
Charles Amirkhanian celebrates the 88th birthday of American composer Leo Ornstein with a special concert devoted to his music. Born in Kremenchug Russia, on December 11, 1892, (or Dec. 2, 1893) he moved to the United States in 1907. His antics as a pianist, including his introducing to concert audiences around 1910 a brand of composing previously unknown, brought him a reputation as a fiery radical of the keyboard. His experiments in percussive sonorities and dissonance presaged those of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music, Leo...
The last Morning Concert with Charles Amirkhanian at the helm kicks off with an interview with David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet. This interview was recorded just prior to a concert by the Quartet at the Theater Artaud that was to feature new compositions by Mr. Bungle and Thomas Mapfumo written for the Kronos Quartet. The various roles individual players have within the Quartet is described. The second half of the program is dedicated to taking phone calls from listeners reminiscing with... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Avant-Garde, Charles Amirkhanian
In 1988 and 1989, a spate of articles and letters to the “San Francisco Chronicle” raised the question: “Is the San Francisco Symphony too radical in its programming of contemporary music?”. In this program, Charles Amirkhanian hosts a panel discussion, complete with musical examples, addressing this question. Participants include Michael Steinberg, Artistic Advisor of the Symphony and writer of the exemplary program notes which are distributed to concert-goers weekly, and Mark Volkert,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Lecture, Panel Discussion, 20th Century Classical
Recorded on December 16, 1980, Charles Amirkhanian interviews musician, composer, and conductor Robert Hughes. Topics discussed include working with Laurie Anderson on the world premiere of her work "Born, Never Asked". Fans of Anderson's later popular albums will recognize many of the musical themes running through this piece. The recording of the piece, made on May 17, 1980, features Anderson performing with the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, an award winning group which was led... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Performance Art, Robert Hughes
Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer Lou Harrison about his recent work. Harrison had just completed a semester of teaching at Mills College, as holder of the Milhaud Chair in composition. Most of this program is devoted to Harrison's work with gamelan music, and a number of selections from his album released by CRI, are heard. Also participating in this program is Harrison’s partner William Colvig. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Lou Harrison
Charles Amirkhanian interviews British composer Gavin Bryars and plays a selection of his music during a pledge marathon week at KPFA. Bryars, born in Yorkshire in 1943, is one of a group of British experimental composers interested in minimal yet consonant music. He has composed for the theater and dance, as well as for the concert hall, and has written three full-length operas. In this program you will hear three excerpts of his work, including his “Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet” with... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Gavin Bryars
Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer John Adams in February 1990 about his music, including his two orchestral works, “The Wound-Dresser” and “Fearful Symmetries”. The composer of the opera “Nixon in China” also delivers a progress report on his next opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer”, as well as discussing his affinity for working with small orchestras, and other sundry topics. Born in Worcester, Mass on February 15, 1947, Adams celebrated his 43rd birthday the week of this... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Opera, John Adams
Charles Amirkhanian talks to composer Benjamin Lees about his memories of living in Paris including playing chess with Marcel Duchamp and meeting other famous artists. We then hear the premier performance of Lees’ Concerto for brass choir and orchestra. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music,...
From a program recorded on January 25, 1990, Charles Amirkhanian interviews the Chinese American composer, baritone saxophonist, and political activist, Fred Ho about a scheduled performance of his ballet “A Song for Manong”. A Harvard educated sociologist turned composer, Fred Ho’s music has been heavily influenced by the music of John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus as well as the politics of the Black Panther Party and the plight of American immigrants. In this brief interview he talks to... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Jazz, Fred Ho
English composer, Tim Souster, visited the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978 in order to produce a new composition at Stanford University’s internationally renowned computer music center, and during his stay happily agreed to be interviewed on KPFA. Charles Amirkhanian introduces Souster and his music during the course of a lively program, recorded at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Center on October 3, 1978. “Driftwood Cortege” (1978), Souster’s computer piece, completed earlier that... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Tim Souster
Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer John Duffy, whose television series soundtrack “Heritage: Civilization & The Jews,” has been reworked into a suite for orchestra with narrator. Duffy, the founder of the Meet the Composer organization, which assists groups in bringing composers to meet their audiences, has had a revolutionary impact on the American music scene of the late 20th century. Now Charles Amirkhanian plays turnabout and brings you John Duffy himself, interviewed shortly... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, John Duffy, Interview, Music, 20th Century Classical
Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer, bassoonist, and conductor, Robert Hughes, one of the liveliest figures in San Francisco Bay Area music, and for many years conductor of the nationally prominent Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra. Hughes plays a selection of his works, largely in chronological order. The final four pieces in this program feature acoustic sounds juxtaposed against quadraphonic tapes realized primarily on Moog equipment at Mills College. Hughes is also one of the leading... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Poetry, Robert...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Hungarian born composer Tamas Ungvary about his work with electronic music. Ungvary who’s early musical experience was as a double bassist and conductor, first became aware of the possibilities of using computers to generate music when he heard about the electronic music studio at Stanford University from another Hungarian composer. In 1970 he moved to Sweden where he eventually became director of the Electro-acoustic Music Foundation in Sweden. In this program... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, computer music, Electro-acoustic, Electronic...
Recorded on May 22, 1992, Charles Amirkhanian talks with Philip Glass about his upcoming concert with dancer Molissa Fenley benefiting the Tibetan Resettlement Project. Glass discusses his collaboration with Fenley, his interest in Buddhism and human rights in Tibet, as well as how he originally got into the music business (by breaking records for his father’s store), and his upcoming projects. Glass also relates the challenges of bringing experimental music into large concert halls, which... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, New Music, World Music, JazzMusic
Guitar virtuoso David Tanenbaum discusses new works extending the language of the instrument with Charles Amirkhanian. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Music, Guitar Music
Charles Amirkhanian and Russ Jennings are joined in the KPFA studio by Frederic Rzewski, an American composer and performer, who has spent much of his adult life living in Rome and Brussels. Rzewski was a founding member of the radical, electronic, music group, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV), and the composer of a famous set of piano variations based on Sergio Ortega protest song “El Pueblo Undio Jamas Sera Vencido”. He is known for both his remarkable virtuosity as a performer, improviser... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Frederic Rzewski
From a program recorded on May 12, 1983, Charles Amirkhanian interviews pianist, educator, and composer Doris Hays, as well as playing a selection of her music. Doris, who later adopted the name of Sorrel in 1985, was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1941 and from an early age showed an interest in music. She was performing regularly for her church by the age of 12, and was an accompanist and soloist for the Chattanooga Boys Choir at 15. After studying in both the United States and Germany, Ms.... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Dorris Hays, Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Han Reiziger of the Dutch radio station, VPRO, guest host’s on KPFA’s Morning Concert, for a program dedicated to the music of one of the Netherland’s internationally best known 20th century composers, Willem Pijper. Although he briefly studied composition with Johan Wagenaar, Pijper was largely self-taught as a composer. And despite suffering from poor heath for much of his life, he managed to create a large body of work that is still widely performed today. In addition to his composing... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music
Charles Amirkhanian commemorates the genocide of the Armenian People by the Ottoman Turks in 1915 with music by the Chancel Choir of Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church in Fresno California. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Classical Music, Armenian Music
Charles Amirkhanian plays a number of works by Canadian composers, many of whom were to be highlighted during the New Music America Festival to be held in Montreal, Canada in 1990. To get more information about this event Charles interviews composer and Festival director, Jean Piché over the phone. In the second half of the program Charles talks to Peter Garland and John Luther Adams who have both incorporated their interest in Native American cultures into their music, of which we hear a... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music
From a program recorded on March 1, 1984, Charles Amirkhanian interviews English composer/musicians, vocalist Janet Sherbourne and pianist Mark Lockett. The two were in the San Francisco Bay Area for a concert of contemporary English music ranging from experimental, truly minimal, consonant music, by such composers as Howard Skempton, as well as a selection of more New Wave pop music. The three are joined by Paul Dresher, curator of the concert series featuring Sherbourne and Lockett for a... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, Rock Music, Minimal Music, Piano Music
Charles Hamm, noted historian and musicologist specializing in American music both serious and popular, visited KPFA in October 1980. In this program Hamm discusses developments in South African and American popular music with Charles Amirkhanian and Chris Strachwitz, illustrating his comments with many recorded examples. Hamm, who has been involved with the study of Zulu popular music in particular reports on what he discovered during a trip to Africa. In addition Hamm traces the manner in... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, World Music, Charles Hamm